Bioenergy

Farm Bill Grants Support Rural Renewable Energy

Renewables are not getting very much federal support these days. The Bush Administration’s contentious energy bill, which offered only piecemeal support for renewable energy, is languishing in the U.S. Congress. The 2002 Farm Bill, however, is doing its part to support renewable energy projects in the rural United States.

Spencer, Iowa – September 20, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Most recently, a total of US$ 22.8 million was released to 167 recipients from 26 states to support renewable energy projects. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program was created as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to assist farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses develop renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. “We have the natural resources and the ingenuity to create new forms of energy and to use it more efficiently,” Veneman said. The funds will used by rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers to develop renewable energy systems and promote energy efficiency improvements. In 2003, the Bush Administration invested under this program $21.7 million to develop or improve wind power, anaerobic digester, solar, ethanol and other bioenergy related systems or energy efficiency improvements in 24 states. A large percent of the 94 renewable energy applications selected this year will support anaerobic digesters and small and large wind power type ventures. A predominate number of the 73 energy efficiency grants will go to agricultural producers who will use the funds for buildings. Funding of selected applicants will be contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreements. A complete list of the selected grant recipients and projects can be found at the link below.